Today we’re in La Joya and McAllen, TX and on our way back from our video shoot, we were ready to relax, have some lunch and a beer. On our way back to the hotel we passed BJ’s Brewhouse in McAllen. We circled around and headed there.
When I go to a new brewpub, normally I like to try something unique. However, like most chain brewpubs, the beer menu was pretty safe… so in that case, I usually try the Pale Ale, because if you can’t get this right, I’m not interested in trying your other beers. So, I ordered a Piranha Pale Ale along with my burger melt.
The menu said, “Winner of multiple awards, including a Silver Medal in American style Pale Ale at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival. This hoppy ale is dry-hopped with the snappy flavor and bite of Cascade hops… for hopheads only!”
Location: On tap at BJ’s Brewhouse in McAllen, TX.
Numbers: 5.7% ABV, 45 IBUs, ~174 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: 2-row Pale, Crystal, Wheat; Hops: Chinook, Cascade
Appearance & Aroma: The pale ale arrived clear as day and was a nice straw color with a very slight orange hue. It had a nice head on it and it definitely smelled like Cascade hops.
Taste & Feel: The taste did not disappoint as it was crisp and refreshing and had a good hop flavor to it. While the menu said it was “for hopheads only,” it was not an over the top hop flavor. Maybe I’ve just become accustom to better beer, or this note was to warn Bud Light drinkers, but it wasn’t super hoppy. It was just enough to make it refreshing with a good hop flavor, which I really needed after running around in the 95 degree southern Texas heat.
Food Pairing: The pale ale obviously went well with my burger and fries and would go well with just about any salty pub fair (except maybe something spicy – I find a good hop flavor and spicy foods don’t go so well together).
Overall Impression: While this isn’t likely to be a beer I’d go out of my way to get my hands on, if I found myself nearby another BJ’s Brewhouse (which I will be next week), and I had finished my 1000 beer quest, I’d definitely drink it again.